As the review season launches into full gear, I always find myself opting to play the stranger titles for review. There's a lot of reasons for this, I'm more likely to get the game than an AAA title everyone on staff wants, but I also like to push my boundaries as a gamer. We all have our genres that we prefer. I like a good FPS (though I'm taking a break from them), I'll always make time for an RPG, and adventure games are always good for a dose of my childhood. I also don't feel like dealing with a wave of people brainwashed by hype when I tell them a game is just another AAA no-risk game that isn't worth 60 bucks.
The biggest reason though, particularly when dealing with something I know is going to be shovelware, is to play a crappy game. Almost all reviewers and critics that I read suffer from a quality bias. If all you do is play highly polished, sophisticated AAA games or acclaimed indie titles then you're only playing the cream of the crop. This leads to a lot of nitpicking. Complaints that the controls "could be smoother" or "the story is a bit dull" are all a bit grating because these are highly personal, impossible to perfect attributes.
Basic achievements like the game working, having a coherent story, and me not wanting to quit after ten minutes of play are all things that are difficult to put into words. They can only be understood when the critic has played something that induces these emotions and you're often not going to find it in a high-budget game. You might find something that doesn't induce mountains of joy, but it's the basics you still need to praise in those sorts of titles.
Sometimes to be a better critic you need to really familiarize yourself with what a bad game actually looks and plays like.